Let’s face it, folks—professional wrestling isn’t always the most logical genre of entertainment out there. Because the industry is founded on a lie, that the wrestlers are trying to beat the tar out of one another for supremacy when, in fact, they’re working together to create a scripted show, the specifics of what those wrestlers do or say to one another doesn’t always matter in respect to their careers. Most of the time, the athletes themselves don’t even come up with the things they say, leaving that to Vince McMahon and his team of writers.
Responsible for no less than three to four hours of wrestling content on live television two nights a week plus double that for live audiences, it’s fair to say the scribes of WWE are some of the hardest working people in show business. Well, on paper that looks like it’s the case anyway, as the reality is McMahon likely handles 90% of the work himself, making him as much a work horse as he is a madman. Regardless of who’s writing it all, what this means is some WWE storylines are simply next-level bonkers crazy, at times, bordering on completely nonsensical to a point of insanity.
As with everything in wrestling, WWE may have started this trend, but they’re hardly the only company to fall victim to an absurdly unsatisfying plot hole or two. WCW naturally had their fair share of bombs over the years, and the whole existence of TNA/GFW/etc. could probably take a spot on this list in a general sense. If you want some more mainstream examples, however, keep reading for the closest explanation possible with regard to 15 times pro wrestling made absolutely no goddamn sense.
15. Kevin Nash Doesn’t Understand Texting
When Kevin Nash made his shocking return at SummerSlam 2011 to attack CM Punk, allowing Alberto Del Rio to win the WWE Championship, most people had the same reaction Punk later claimed his sister gave him via text message: “OMG. Kevin Nash? WTF. Thought he was dead. LOL.” Alright, maybe that’s a little bit unfair, as Nash is a respected Hall of Famer in his own right, but the idea for him to come out of retirement and beat up whoever won the gold at a random WWE event really didn’t make much sense. Add in that his explanation was that a text message from a mysterious sender told him to do it, and it felt like WWE was making this nonsense up as they went along. By the time it was revealed Nash himself sent that text message, it was pretty much confirmation that yeah, the company had no idea what they were doing here. Seriously, who sends himself a text message about a company he doesn’t work for, and then acts on it? All any of this achieved was destroy the momentum of the biggest chance at a crossover star they had in decades.
14. A Weird Egg Produces A Dancing Turkey
Survivor Series 1990 will forever go down in history for containing the single greatest and single worst WWE debuts all in the same show. On the plus side, there was the introduction of The Undertaker, beginning a 27-year career of deathly destruction in dominating fashion. And then, there was this big weird egg that WWE had been carting around for a few weeks, which hatched and produced Eddie Guerrero’s older brother Héctor in a turkey suit. Named the Gobbledy Gooker, the turkey then did a stupid dance with “Mean” Gene Okerlund. At no point did this translate into something that had anything to do with wrestling, although part of that can be attributed to the crowd’s overwhelmingly negative reaction to the ridiculous affair. The Gooker did make a few subsequent appearances inside the ring, yet never on the level that justified his disastrous debut, which was already such a bad idea it probably should’ve been scrapped from the start.
13. Rikishi Turns Heel For The Rock
Starting late 1999 when he teamed up with Too Cool, Rikishi rapidly turned into one of the most popular superstars in the WWE Universe. Something about the way he busted a celebratory groove after an emphatic win always brought the crowd to its feet, and it led to increasingly higher-profile matches against future Hall of Famers like Edge and Kurt Angle, plus a reign as Intercontinental Champion. Rikishi’s incredible momentum was cut off as fast as it began, though, on the fateful day he admitted to running over “Stone Cold” Steve Austin on behalf of The Rock. Deep down, there was indeed some substance to the idea Rikishi was speaking up for the underrepresented cultures in pro wrestling, but there was only one problem—his success never had anything to do with how he worked a microphone. Therefore, Rikishi’s big speech fell flat, taking what could’ve been a message about racism and turning it into a confusing mess. Truth be told, even if the racism angle had made sense, it probably would’ve been more controversial than good, so it wasn’t worth trying in the first place.
12. Shelton Benjamin’s Momma Is A Well Known Comedian
Not everyone in the WWE Universe needs to be a lifelong wrestler, let alone step inside a ring at all. There are plenty of non-competitive roles that can be performed by managers, producers, or even actors, and some have even gone to great success, like Lucha Underground’s Dario Cueto. There’s a catch in going the acting route, however, in that the chosen performer can’t already be famous before entering the world of pro wrestling. This was the problem with Shelton Benjamin’s Momma, aka Thea Vidale. The ‘90s standup comedian had had her own sitcom years before appearing on Raw and had also played guest roles on other standup comic programs like The Drew Carey Show and My Wife and Kids, ultimately making her too famous to be believed as a wrestler’s mom. Had WWE simply acknowledged that Shelton’s mother happened to be a comedian, maybe that almost would’ve worked, but writing her off by way of a heart attack wouldn’t have been any less offensive, thus negating the point.
11. Mae Young, Mark Henry, and The Touch of Death
For all WWE has done to represent Mae Young as a legend of women’s wrestling, no other organization has also done more to tarnish her legacy. While Young was indeed an iconic grappler in an era when few females were promoted by WWE, the McMahon family really had very little to do with her success. The vast majority of Young’s career was spent inside NWA rings, and all she did after appearing in the WWE Universe was embarrass herself in absurd and horrific ways. Case in point: one time, she dated Mark Henry, got pregnant, and gave birth to a human hand, all in the span of about a month. While all of the items on this list simply don’t make sense in the context of wrestling, an elderly woman going into labor and producing a human hand is arguably the most absurd and bizarre thing ever to take place on television in general.
10. Ahmed Johnson Can’t Beat The Nation, So He Joins Them… But They Don’t Want Him
After Ahmed Johnson made his WWE debut to great fanfare, he quickly faded out of the spotlight due to repeat injuries. Once he recovered, Johnson engaged in a feud with Faarooq and his Nation of Domination that would dictate pretty much the rest of his career in one way or another. Johnson and Faarooq constantly interfered in one another’s business for months without ever wrestling because one of them would always get injured en route to the big showdown. There was never a clear advantage between the two sides, with Johnson occasionally getting help from The Undertaker or The Road Warriors to prevent the numbers game alone from defeating him. And then, after a full year of bad blood brewing, Johnson turned on The Undertaker to join his arch rivals completely out of the blue. Once again, Johnson was immediately injured, and when he returned, the Nation just as quickly kicked him out. Not a single part of this was ever given an explanation.
9. Jim Duggan Goes Canadian
There are wrestlers who show a little homeland pride during the Tribute to the Troops, there are wrestlers who act patriotic almost all the time, and then there’s “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan. Starting in the mid-to-late 1980s, Jim Duggan added the idea that he loved his country to his gimmick and never looked backed, eventually turning into a walking and chanting embodiment of “USA! USA! USA!” Duggan’s charisma was such that he could even get overseas crowds to chant the letters of his country, out of solidarity or respect or heck, maybe even confusion. In any event, this unabashed love for all things America means Jim Duggan is the last person one would expect to defect to any other country out there, especially without any reason whatsoever. Leave it to WCW to have him do exactly that, briefly joining Team Canada at Fall Brawl 2000 by helping Lance Storm retain the United States Championship. Why? Duggan never quite explained that one, and he was back to chanting “USA” all of three months later.
8. Jeff Jarrett Plans To Start A Country Music Career Through WWE
Given the success men like John Cena, Batista, and especially The Rock have achieved in Hollywood, at this point, it’s completely reasonable for a wrestler to view WWE as a jumping off point for a career in entertainment proper. That said, there are certain elements of media that a wrestler has more of a connection to than others. Acting is obviously something that wrestlers have to do every day, so it would be easy transitioning from the ring to the front of a green screen. Country music, on the other hand, doesn’t have a whole lot to do with the squared circle, slightly similar target audience notwithstanding. For this reason, Jeff Jarrett’s goal to take his fame in WWE and turn it into a career as a big-name singer on the fame of his song “With My Baby Tonight” made absolutely no sense from the start. Plus, this happened way before any of those better wrestlers became stars, and it’s not like Jarrett was predicting they could through his gimmick.
7. ECW Joins Forces With WCW To Fight WWE
From the very beginning, WCW invading WWE was a flawed idea due to the fact the man writing it only had stock in one of those two brands. In one sense, this is why fans were momentarily extremely excited at the idea of ECW joining the mix since the company’s former owner, Paul Heyman, was right there in the ring with them, presumably calling the shots. Unfortunately, in classic WCW fashion, that company would intervene and ruin things less than an hour later, when the two defeated promotions banded together and formed The Alliance, Heyman having sold his stake in his business to Stephanie McMahon. On paper, it makes sense that WWE’s two biggest rivals would join forces, especially in a position where they had no other alternative. That said, anyone who actually watched ECW knows Paul Heyman and his employees hated WCW way more than they ever hated WWE, and, in fact, his relationship with Vince McMahon was always pretty positive. Why they would work with their mortal enemies and provide the outsider with an edge confounds fans to this day.
6. Every Single Irish Whip In History
Quite frankly, there are so many absurdly complex wrestling moves out there, the concept could probably use a list of its own. That said, we vaguely promised a certain specificity on this list, so we’ll at least zoom in on the most ridiculously nonsensical move in the business, which happens to also be perhaps the most common. The simple Irish Whip, grabbing an opponent’s arm and throwing him or her into the ropes, a move appearing in something like 90% of all wrestling matches, happens to make absolutely no goddamn sense. Imagine for one second you were in a fight and someone threw you into wrestling ropes. Maybe you’d be unable to stop the momentum and wind up running away in one direction, but why the hell would you then turn around and run back, making yourself extremely vulnerable to attack? These are theoretical questions no wrestler nor fan can ever answer.
5. The Anonymous General Manager Is…Hornswoggle
The longer a professional wrestling storyline goes, the more invested the crowd is going to be in it, and the stronger the demand will be for a satisfying and more importantly logical payoff to it all. Believe it or not, this doesn’t change if the storyline happens to be pretty terrible from the start, in fact, intensifying the more fans hate it, as though a good ending could justify the whole thing. Unfortunately for WWE fans, they rarely get what they want, like the time 13 consecutive months of fan outrage ended with even greater fury when WWE revealed the Anonymous Raw General Manager had been the mischievously silent Hornswoggle all along. Hornswoggle’s character had always essentially been that he’s a prankster and never says a word, meaning there was no way to justify why he had the power, why he abused it so horribly, and what he would do in retribution. Instead, one of the most irritatingly long stories was simply over and done with, no attempt made at explaining anything that went down whatsoever.
4. Eric Bischoff Can’t See The Warrior
This list has been suspiciously light on WCW considering that company’s penchant for utter ridiculousness, so let’s make up for the deficit with one of the most absurd ideas ever portrayed in sports entertainment history. Truth be told, the entire feud between Hollywood Hogan and The Warrior taking place in late 1998 could be called completely absurd yet was still the one moment in particular that rightfully got all the attention near the end of an episode of Monday Nitro. Hogan was increasingly paranoid about his upcoming Halloween Havoc match and saw a vision of Warrior inside a mirror. Somehow, Tony Schiavone and the entire viewing audience also caught this vision, meaning Warrior was actually inside the mirror, right? Well, not quite because Eric Bischoff, standing next to Hogan, couldn’t see his friend’s rival standing in front of them. It was dumb the second we had to explain a person was in a mirror, and WCW managed to make it worse by confusing the point beyond that absurd detail.
3. John Cena Is A Free Agent Because… He’s Special?
To some fans, the very idea of a Superstar Shake-Up or a roster split is one that doesn’t make sense in the context of modern-day WWE. There’s simply so much airtime to fill, the company diversifying makes it harder to flesh out the dead air, and every past attempt by WWE at running two brands has gradually ended with the two bleeding into one. Barely over one year into the latest version of the trend, and things are already getting fuzzy all the way at the top, with John Cena allowed to travel freely between both shows because, well, he’s still the company’s biggest star, and they could both use the ratings now and again. That’s the best explanation anyone has managed to come up with, at least, and the company hasn’t really offered any better logic of its own.
2. Vince McMahon Teams With Steve Austin To Stop Steve Austin
Alright, so, the Higher Power. Where does one even begin? Mae Young notwithstanding, viewed in totality, the Higher Power angle is probably the least logical storyline in wrestling history. To sum things up, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin was the WWE Champion, much to Vince McMahon’s chagrin. However, at this time, McMahon was extremely distracted by the evil Undertaker, who had kidnapped his daughter Stephanie and generally served as a menace to the WWE Universe. McMahon had no choice but to team up with Austin to save his daughter and his soul, cowering in fear of the Dead Man for months, even briefly losing control of WWE to his son Shane. Austin and Vince kept working together until The Undertaker revealed he and Shane’s Corporate Ministry bowed down to a Higher Power, who was soon revealed to be… Vince McMahon. Vince’s goal in the trickery? To take down Steve Austin. So, why the hell was Vince working with Austin all this time, occasionally even trying to help him retain the WWE Championship? Uh…cause he’s Vince McMahon, damn it?
1. The nWo Team Up With Sting To Fight D-Generation X On Behalf Of WCW
No matter what Michael Cole repeatedly tried to sell the dwindling WWE Universe, the idea of Sting challenging Triple H at WrestleMania was never a dream match. In all reality, the concept was fairly doomed from the start for not making sense, as Sting was apparently standing up for WCW’s honor some 16 years after it went out of business and everyone else had moved on. Also, he was a hero for doing so, despite WWE taking every opportunity to take that company over the past decade and a half. As if that wasn’t illogical enough, WWE decided to go big or go home at the Grandest Stage of Them All by having Sting look to his mortal enemies in the nWo for help after HHH’s DX buddies came to his aide. Anyone who watched a single episode of Nitro from 1996 to 1999 could have informed Vince McMahon that Sting hated the nWo more than any other wrestler and never once reconciled with them, yet they were treated as career allies fighting for the salvation of WCW. Oh, by the way—the whole point of the nWo was also that they wanted to destroy WCW, completely blowing that idea out of the window regardless of Sting’s involvement.
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